Murder in Pigalle

Soho Crime. Mar. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781616952846. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616952853. M
Edgy and appealing French detective Aimée Leduc is back, and she's got a young detective in her wake: 13-year-old Zazie, the red-headed daughter of the café owners at the corner. Distressed by an attack on a girl at her school, Zazie is compiling a dossier with news clippings about a similar attack and tracking a suspect to a local bar. Aimée tries to dissuade her from further sleuthing by promising to look at her dossier, but then Zazie goes missing. While Aimée pulls out all the stops in a frantic search, an ex-con trying to go straight finds himself dragged into one last operation with the daughter he's trying to wrest from her wastrel mother held over his head as a threat. As readers anticipate how these two cases will converge, suspense remains taut, further heightened by Aimée's being five months pregnant. At the end, though, she proves to be one tough mother-to-be with a gun.
VERDICT Following Murder Below Montparnasse, this latest in the treasured Aimée Leduc series keeps to the high standard of the series while nicely deepening Aimée as a character and leading her in a new direction.
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